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Mastercard to Invest Rs 250 cr to Support SMEs in India Amid COVID-19 Crisis

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Mastercard commits ₹250 croreOn July 9, 2020 Mastercard has announced that it will invest Rs 250 crore(USD 33 million) to support Indian Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs) to enable the SMEs to restart itself and help them in business recovery. SMEs have been hit hardest during the lockdown caused by COVID-19 due to their dependence on the cash-economy and disruption of the supply chain.

About the investment

As part of this investment, Mastercard will provide various initiatives for the following reasons:

  • To help small businesses to pave way for growing digital payments awareness and provide low-cost acceptance solutions through online and offline which are simple, safe and secure.
  • To drive inclusive growth by enabling small merchants and kirana stores with access to credit, knowledge and tools which will drive operational efficiencies.
  • To empower women entrepreneurs by enhancing their business intelligence.

Key Info

i.These initiatives are an extension of the global commitment of Mastercard to inject finance, that pledges to bring a total of one billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025.

ii.Mastercard has also pledged USD 250 million to support small businesses globally in April, 2020.

iii.These new initiatives are built on the partnership of Mastercard with the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) to promote digital payment awareness and support merchant on-boarding for digital commerce.

Benefits of Initiatives 

i.Initiatives will enable India’s small businesses and entrepreneur to gain increased access to credit.

ii.They will build operational efficiencies through improved customer and also will help in  inventory management, employee engagement and regulatory compliance.

Significance of the SMEs– The small  businesses contribute nearly 35%  of the GDP, which makes it  the foundation of India’s economy

Note– More than 90% of SMEs were closed for business during the  extended nationwide lockdown

Mastercard’s partnership to help offline merchants and Kirana stores

Mastercard,  Axis Bank Ltd & Worldline India partnered  to launch a digital point-of-sale(POS) solution ‘Soft POS’, the 1st financial payments service in India. It will help offline merchants and Kirana stores accept payments using their smartphones. It will transform everyday smartphones into merchant POS terminals.

About MasterCard:
Headquarters– New York, United States
Chief Executive Officer– Ajay Banga ( Michael Miebach will take over as CEO on January 2021)